Formula E exploring all options to end the season
LONDON: the all-electric Formula E The series could run races without spectators and far from city centers to end a season suspended by the new coronaviorus pandemic that has led two of its main locations to become temporary hospitals.
director Jamie Reigle He told Reuters that all options were being considered.
The current calendar is scheduled to end at the ExCeL Exhibition Center in London from July 25 to 26 with cars careers through the building on a circuit that also spans the Royal Docks dock.
The facility has been converted to Nightingale Hospital, which will eventually be able to treat some 4,000 COVID-19 patients
The round in New York on July 11 uses the site of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal which is being transformed into a temporary hospital. New York has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Clearly, I can't look you in the eye and say we're going to compete (at that time in London and New York) given that pattern, Reigle said in an interview.
Could we compete later in the year? We are looking at all the options at the moment, he added.
In simple terms, if you work backwards from the next season, which starts in mid-December, we are trying to reduce that off-season period as much as we can to create space on the calendar to compete in August and September.
Reigle said the teams, manufacturers and partners of the sport were in solidarity.
He added that there was a regular dialogue with ExCeL owners about the dates, but other options were discussed for a city-based series running on temporary street designs to promote electric vehicles and cleaner energy.
We are, of course, at a very different time, and I think they are all in makeshift mode, so we must consider all the alternatives, Reigle said, speaking from Singapore.
"We’ll look at behind closed doors, we’ll look at tracks, we’ll look at venues that otherwise wouldn’t be a natural Formula E venue. That doesn’t signal a change in the overall strategy, it’s just a reflection of the current circumstances."
Reigle hoped that the next season would start as planned and saw two main ways to do it.
"One is some races in Europe and in Asia in July and August and September, which are more typical Formula E races in cities, and then there’s the behind closed doors at tracks and in remote locations," he said.
"I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t start our next season in December. But I suspect if that’s the case we’ll be dealing with much bigger issues than careers calendars."
Reigle remained optimistic about Formula E 's future, despite the shock to the global economy.
"I fundamentally believe that Formula E ’s proposition is sound for the medium term. There’s a trend toward electric vehicles, consumers want them, there’s regulatory pressure for auto manufacturers to shift towards electric vehicles," he said.
With people ceasing to move, pollution levels have dropped ... it has really been shown that human activity has a direct impact on the climate and not just in the long term but in the very short term.
"We think that lends credibility to our story. So the business model for Formula E is sound. There’s no doubt we face headwinds though. I don’t want to sugar coat that in any way."
Formula E has already postponed the introduction of its new Gen2 car for a year as part of cost-saving measures.
It announced on Tuesday a partnership with the U.N. children's fund UNICEF to support a global coronavirus appeal.